Meet ystark! YP: Serena Draper Hendershot


Serena Draper Hendershot

Occupation/Title/Place of work

Outreach Director of The Martin Center - 3rd St. Community Church Director of Stark County - Enlightened Solutions (Workplace Advocacy & Diversity Consulting)



Why are you interested in Stark County’s Young Professionals initiative?

I love the idea of keeping the community growing with having young people work, play and stay here while also allowing the older generations to be mentors for those emerging leaders in the county.

What would you share to encourage other people to join?

This group initiative provides professional and personal support while surrounding you with a network of like-minded individuals.

Did you grow up in Stark? If so, where? If not, where did you move from and why?

Yes I was born in Canton and then grew up in Alliance. I am a graduate from Marlington Local Schools and Walsh University.

Why do you stay in Stark County, from both a personal and professional point of view?

Stark County is home to me and while most have found themselves wanting to leave, I have found myself called to change and build up my hometown. I value the close knit feeling of knowing your leaders and county initiatives and playing a part in making those come to life.

What do you like MOST about Stark County?

It is a small county that allows you to be more connected to community initiatives than most big cities.

What would you change about Stark County if you could?

I would love for Stark County to be more collaborative and seeing more organizations and leaders within the multiple cities partnering to create sustainable changes for us to grow as a county. Stark County taking the lead in racial equity initiatives and being more inclusive for all backgrounds.

What do you see as valuable opportunities for YPs in Stark County when it comes to career opportunities, cultural access, leadership or community involvement opportunities?

Leadership Stark County Signature and Spotlight program is an awesome opportunity. United Way's Young Leader's Society is also one while there are multiple youth programs that allow young professionals to mentor and volunteer.

What would attract more YPs to Stark County?

More opportunities to elevate young professionals' voices, inclusive networking events, and more entertainment options.

What do you do in the evenings or on the weekends for fun in Stark County or NE Ohio?

My family and I try out new restaurants within the county or we explore outdoor activities or community led events.

Could you see yourself spending your lifetime in Stark County and if not, what would cause you to leave?

Yes I could see myself spending my lifetime here and the only reason I would leave is for career opportunities if those who have been in positions for more than 30+ years do not step down for my generation to take on leadership positions.